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Gardening in your 80s.

COUNTRYSIDE: Because I am in my 80s, I wanted to make gardening a little easier, so I went to container gardening. I did not using fancy pots and containers but something simpler.

I obtained eight used 55-gallon oil barrels, cut the ends out and cut each one into three parts. (You might have to get a welding shop to do it for you.) I am an old welder so I did it myself.

That gives you 24 containers to make two rows. Lay down a sheet of heavy black plastic and put the containers on it, cutting the plastic out at the bottom, leaving 1/2" or so on the inside edge. That will keep the grass and weeds from coming up outside the containers.

Fill the containers 1/2 to 3/4 full of good soil and compost. Don't fill them completely full as next year you will want to add more compost.

In my row of 12 containers I put a steel post at each end and one in the middle to run a heavy steel wire across the containers as a support pole for climbing plants like tomatoes, beans, etc.

I put in three plants such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, peppers, etc. per container.

There is one small problem. When the plants become large you will be surprised at how much water they will want. It helps some to put a good mulch of grass clippings or leaves in there, and that will also stop any weeds. It sure helps not to fight the weeds and grass.

You can do some of the work sitting down. The containers also make a good cold frame for greens and lettuce. Just put some clear plastic or old window frames over them.--Old Geezer Gardener, Ben Waite, Alexander, Arkansas
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Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Nov 1, 2005
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